Most Mexican recipes for octopus require cooking times of about an hour. But the baby octopus can be cooked very quickly—3 to 5 minutes—with good results. My friend Giorgio Petracco showed me the trick of putting a cork in the cooking liquid to tenderize the octopus—a technique I’d heard of for tough cuts of meat but had never tried on seafood.
The baby octopus, not much bigger than a walnut, are often available in Chinese fish markets. If you have to clean them you